Fuel up with a plant-powered pasta in under 20 minutes with this vegan arugula avocado pesto pasta filled with healthy fats and fiber! (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free option)
I don’t think it’s a secret around here that I don’t follow a plant based diet. AKA a vegan diet. But that’s the great thing about not following any diet labels or rules. You can eat anything, anytime you feel like it, vegan or not!
That means some days, if you want mostly plants, and other days you want a steak, it’s totally fine! Leaving all the labels behind really lets you tune into what your body really wants and needs. Which for me some days is eggs for breakfast and a big chunk of meat for dinner, and other days it’s oatmeal, fruit, and a plant-based grain bowl.
This vegan arugula pesto pasta is a great example of being able to eat label-free. I didn’t make this pasta because I wanted something vegan. I wanted a quick, tasty lunch that used up the vegetables I had in my fridge. And it just happened to be vegan and gluten-free (I used chickpea pasta because that’s what I had). But if I’d had chicken in the fridge, I might have thrown that in my bowl too and been perfectly happy and felt just as good about my meal choice.
The pesto on this pasta is what makes this delicious dish so delicious. It’s super easy to throw together, and you might already have all of the ingredients on hand, especially if you have a summer garden bursting with basil! (Basil is the only thing I can grow, so we usually have plenty in the summer.) The avocado makes it extra creamy and delicious, while the basil and arugula give it a nice fresh bite. I love walnuts, so I used them in the avocado arugula pesto, but feel free to sub in pine nuts or almonds if you wish.
To make a complete meal, all you have to do is add your favorite cooked pasta, and you’re done! It’s a super quick and delicious meal that I so full of flavor and nutrition. Avocado and walnuts are both great sources of healthy fats and fiber, and depending on the pasta you use, you can have even more fiber and some added protein. If you want to up the protein even more, add some beans, cooked chicken or fish, or even parmesan cheese. Whatever suits your needs, this vegan arugula avocado pesto pasta is an effortless, delicious meal that you can eat on its own or dress up any way you please!
Fuel up with a delicious, plant-powered pasta in under 20 minutes with this vegan arugula avocado pesto pasta filled with healthy fats and fiber! (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free option)
- 1 small ripe avocado
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp walnuts
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 2 cups baby arugula leaves, divided
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz whole wheat pasta or chickpea pasta, any shape (I used penne)
- In a food processor or blender, combine avocado, lemon juice, garlic, walnuts, basil, 1 cup of the arugula, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, adding water as needed to reach your desired consistency.
- Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- Stir 3/4 cup pesto (more or less to taste) into hot pasta. Stir in remaining 1 cup arugula.
- Serve pasta hot, or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve cold.
Top with parmesan cheese (not vegan), or toasted walnuts, if desired. To add more protein, add cooked protein of choice, such as chicken, fish, shrimp, tofu or beans.
Love this recipe? PIN it!